If you weren’t moved by Mariano Rivera’s entrance from the bullpen during the eighth inning of the MLB All-Star Game on Tuesday night at Citi Field, then you’re either from Boston, or not a baseball fan.
Rivera entered his final All-Star Game, in what will be his final season, to the tune of Metallica’s “Enter Sandman,” which is his entrance song from the bullpen during home games. This was the first time it was played for Mo in a stadium other than Yankee Stadium, and it gave his final All-Star Game appearance a personal touch.
As soon as Rivera entered the field from the bullpen, all eyes were on him. Both teams remained by the dugout to allow Rivera the spotlight. Players and coaches made their way to the top of the dugout steps to get a glimpse of the best closer in the history of the game. Relievers on the NL team stood in front of the bullpen to clap for the closer. The AL All-Star team even lined up in front of the dugout to pay their respect to Rivera, who responded by tipping his cap to the fans and both teams.
Everyone understood that they were witnessing the last All-Star appearance for the legend.
Rivera entered to pitch the bottom of the eighth inning for the AL squad rather than wait for the ninth because he told AL manager Jim Leyland that he wanted to pitch in the game. The two decided to have him pitch the eighth to guarantee he would have an inning; as the road team, had the AL been losing after batting in the ninth, the game would have ended without the NL needing to bat.
After his scoreless 1-2-3 inning of work, which maintained his career ERA in All-Star Games at 0.00, Rivera spoke with FOX’s Ken Rosenthal about his entrance.
“It was special. Seeing the fans sharing and both teams standing out of the dugout … managers, coaches, players … priceless.”
Below is more from Rivera after the game:
The respect Rivera received from the AL squad, especially Justin Verlander, was awesome to see:
And you could tell how much the NL relievers respected Rivera based on their reaction: